As one of three airports that serve the greater Washington, D.C., area, Baltimore-Washington International Airport is a little over 30 miles from downtown D.C. While it may not be the closest airport to D.C., multiple transportation options are available to get you there in under 90 minutes, including public transportation, airport shuttles and car rental services. Choose the best option to get to downtown D.C. based on your time constraints and budget.
MARC Train Service
To take Maryland's MARC commuter train service to D.C., hop on the marked free shuttle from the airport to the BWI Rail Station. Rail station shuttles arrive outside the lower level arrivals terminal every 12 minutes, between exit doors 1 & 2, 8 & 9, 14 & 15 and 17 & 18. At the rail station, take a southbound MARC train on the Penn Line toward Union Station in D.C., roughly a 40-minute ride. At Union Station, transfer to a Metro Red Line subway train going toward Shady Grove. Get off just a few stops away at either the Gallery Place-Chinatown or Metro Center stations. Both will put you in the heart of D.C.'s downtown district. You can purchase tickets for MARC and Metro trains from electronic kiosks in their respective stations.
MetroBus and Train
To take the MetroBus to downtown D.C., wait for Bus 30, the Greenbelt-BWI Airport Express bus, outside of the arrivals terminal. The bus runs every 40 minutes and stops at Concourse A, near the exits for Southwest, American and Airtran, as well as at the International terminal. Exact fare is required if you are using cash. The 30- to 40-minute bus ride will take you to the Metro Greenbelt Station, where you must take a Green Line subway train about 15 minutes to the Gallery Place-Chinatown stop in downtown D.C. You can transfer to other lines at this station if you would like to continue on to other stations in the area, like Metro Center, McPherson Square or Federal Triangle. Purchase day or weekly SmarTrip cards at any Metro Station ticket kiosk to make it easier to get around D.C. via public transportation.
Ground Shuttle Transportation
You can choose from two shared shuttle van companies at BWI to get you to downtown D.C.: SuperShuttle and Go Airport Shuttle. Look for the ticket desks for each shuttle van company in the baggage claim area of the exit terminal. Provide the representative with the home or business address you wish to go, then wait in the designated area outside of the terminal for your van to arrive. While shuttles are significantly cheaper than taking a cab, you will be sharing the ride with others who may be dropped off before you, making the trip longer to get to your final destination.
By Taxi or Car
If you wish to take a taxi to D.C., wait in the taxi stand line outside the terminal for an authorized airport taxi. All the taxis are metered; flat rates are prohibited, which can make the trip very expensive, particularly in traffic. You can also rent a car. Take the free rental car shuttle from your terminal to the BWI car rental facility where you can choose from several major rental car companies. To drive to downtown D.C., take the Baltimore-Washington (BW) Parkway, also known as Maryland 295, south for about 24 miles, then merge onto US-50 West/New York Avenue, which will bring you into the D.C. downtown area. You can also take I-95 South from the airport to exit 22B, which will put you on the BW Parkway a few miles before you reach the US-50 West merge.
- BWI Airport: Ground Transportation
- BWI Airport: MARC train
- Maryland Transit Administration: MARC Train
- Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority: B30 Metrobus
- Go Airport Shuttle: Baltimore Airport Shuttle
- Super Shuttle: Baltimore/Washington International Airport
- BWI Airport: Taxis
- BWI Airport: Car Rental
- Photo Credit Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images
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